Category Archives: SSCs

Korea Travel Series Part 12: Day 9 – On The Grill (Lunch), Han River Cruise, Yeouido Hangang Park, Paddle Boating, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (SUPERB!)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 9 – 9th September 2016 
So we bought tickets online for a river cruise and MUST head there on time, otherwise, the cruise will not wait for us!

But since I knew we wouldn’t want to rush around, I book the cruise for 2pm, which means we had to reach by 1.30pm to exchange tickets and get ready for boarding. In case we got lost, we planned to reach there by 1pm, giving ourselves adequate buffer time if needed.

Since we were in no rush and we had to change apartment (to Gangnam area) the next day, we slept late and spent some time tidying up the room before we headed out. Ahjussi went to tabao pizza for breakfast!

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Awesome Bulgogi Pizza! It is made from Korean beef which is premium beef!

So we were too lazy to think of lunch ideas and decided to head back to On the Grill to say goodbye to the Singaporean chef before we left Myeongdong area.

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The boys had Pepper Beef Rice (minus the pepper at our request).

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I had Kimchi Pork Belly Stew (SUPERB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

After lunch, we headed out. The tickets came with specific instructions on where to go, so we took the train and followed the instructions.

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Screenshot of the confirmation email with instructions.

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Thank goodness we decided to leave early. There were 2 interchanges we had to walk through and we GOT LOST! We got off at the wrong station because I didn’t zoom into the app to check which station we were supposed to alight at and assumed. Correct route: Myeongdong to Seoul Station, then to Gongdeok. I saw it as Hyochang instead of Gongdeok and WHOOPSIE! Thankful that Koreans are generally helpful and their signages were clear. Wasted 15min on getting lost!

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At Exit 3 according to the instructions!

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This stall greeted us. Smell really good but er… Not our kind of snack! Pupa and sea snails.

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Left side is the train station exit. The right side is the path towards E-Land Cruise!

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We spotted the signage after walking for a few minutes.

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Head towards the river as per instructions.

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See that tall building? That’s 63 Building. We didn’t have time to pop over, though.

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Spotted a dock or something from far.

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Looks right!

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Yes, it is right!

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Looking for the ticket counter.

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Spotted a signage pointing to the ticket counter. It’s a FRIDAY and it is a hot afternoon, so there weren’t many people around.

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So nice to capture humanless photos because it is usually crowded in the city!

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Found the ticket counter!

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They required us to fill up a form. I guess that is the ‘passenger list’.

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There are fixtures with good photo opportunities!

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I’m loving this photo! Meimei was cranky in her stroller so she didn’t want to take a photo with the boys.

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Big Boy asked for a photo by himself 🙂

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And Baby Oppa wanted one too.

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How could we forget this cheeky Meimei? She’s enjoying the surroundings, pointing and yakking in baby talk.

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Heading towards the dock. Lovely bridge. I think it lights up with pretty lights at night!

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Another bridge with flowers instead.

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In the air conditioned area waiting to board! There are F&B outlets here, so you can come early and have lunch here. We ordered iced drinks as the sun was really scorching that day.

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The cruise arrived! It’s time to board!

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Wondering why the cruise looks so familiar? Because it has been featured on popular dramas like You Who Came from the Stars (My Love from the Stars).

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First thing that caught my eye once we boarded. Nursing room!

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Clean, comfy, well ventilated & private!

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Simple snack counter.

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And looking out of the windows, we saw SEAGULLS!

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Big Boy enjoying himself even before we start to move off!

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Perks of coming on a weekday. So quiet!

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We had the whole Level 1 (air con) to ourselves! They even had a singer perform live! And the only audience was a sleeping Meimei and me.

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And Ahjussi spotted anchovies being sold at the snack booth so that you can feed the seagulls. 2,000 won per cup (around 10 large anchovies).

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Finally moving off!

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The lone passenger who is paying attention…

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Travelling under the bridge!

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Ahjussi trying to feed seagulls in the middle of NOWHERE. LOL!

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Tried & tried but it doesn’t work this way!

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Finally the staff demo to us. We were supposed to stand by the side of the cruise.

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The very pretty and nice staff who entertained the boys! And she said my spoken Korean is very accurate! *ego boost* She also gave each of our kids a balloon! The kids were so happy with the balloons!

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The upper deck of the cruise!

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There’s a signage to inform tourists that you can feed the seagulls, but with anchovies only. Otherwise, the seagulls will be sick!

Feeding the seagulls really require a lot of patience and arm muscle. You have to hold your hand up up up and wait for them to zoom in! The video was sped up in the front part, then slow mo at the end for you to see clearly how the seagull comes here! It felt scary because I wondered if the seagull will bite my fingers off, but don’t worry! They are skilled and I didn’t even realized the anchovy was gone!

And just a tip: Do not wear sleeveless like I did. I was burnt like a lobster that day!

So after the cruise, we decided to stroll along the river. This park we are at is called Yeoeuido Han River Park

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Stairs art at a rest area under the bridge. There are a lot of Ahjummas here having a picnic with their friends!

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Tiles on the pillars of the bridge.

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We walked a little and came across this! Paddle boats!

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They provided life vests and have many sizes available for the whole family!

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You can choose manual paddle boat or the electric boat at a higher price. Ahjussi chose the electric boat because he didn’t want to be the only one paddling. Meimei was asleep so I stayed on shore with her and chatted with the owner. He can speak Chinese very well.

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Pricing information. It’s 40 minutes per round. Electric ones are 20,000 won while the manual ones are 15,000 won.

The boys enjoyed themselves. Paddling for 40 minutes would have driven Ahjussi insane, so please choose the electric one like he did. They totally enjoyed it though Baby Oppa was a little frightened.

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Finally, Meimei woke up! It’s time to play in the vast park!

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Loads of cute and unique structures for photos. The boys really enjoyed posing!

And how can we forget to let the little girl have some fun of her own? She loves chasing pigeons and when there’s a flock of them, she couldn’t resist! The video was made fast, otherwise, you will have a really long video to watch.

We actually intended to head back to the train station and move off from the park to find dinner as there wasn’t much around the park (all residential area).

We walked a little and I got mildly excited thinking I could bump into my fave celebs!

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MBC!!!!! But too bad. Didn’t see any celebs at all.

Disappointed and hungry, I got tired and took a seat to rest. Then decided to ask Google for dinner suggestions around the area.

And something awesome popped up! It’s a NIGHT MARKET by the river, right at the park we were at! So we moved over to find the location of this night market.

It’s called Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market!
Do note this night market only operates on FRIDAY & SATURDAY, from March to October only. 

We were super lucky it was a FRIDAY and we happened to be there!

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Near the train exit, you will see this apartment.

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Turn around and face the river, this is what you will see. Loads of people hanging around as there was a performance at the park that evening.

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Turn left and walk towards the bridge.

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Baby Oppa pointing the direction you should walk to.

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Keep walking.

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Go under the bridge.

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Walk on.

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And a little more.

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You will see this water feature.

So this water feature is apparently very fun! Look at the daredevils!

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This is the place!

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Look out for this sign! We bought picnic mat for 4,000 won (you can get back 2,000 won if you return it). Settled the boys here and Ahjussi headed off to buy makan for us. I told him to get something for the boys first, then we can slowly find food for ourselves later.

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Chillaxing and watching kites in the sky…

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I know we looked strangely out of place but we chose a quiet spot. Who knew that just minutes after this photo, we were surrounded!

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As the sun started to set, the skies turned dark and the atmosphere was so nice!

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By the time we got all the food, it was so dark! Thankfully Ahjussi is like Doraemon! LOL! He dug into his pouch and out came a portable battery pack with a USB lamp!

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A better shot of the boys 🙂

There’re so many food choices, we almost went insane. But thankfully, we saw online reviews and narrowed down our makan choices to a few items.

(1) Steak!
(2) Pineapple Shrimps
(3) Japanese steak rice for the boys

Too many beautiful photos to share, so do click and slowly browse through!

Not to forget… After our dinner, we came across an Ah Ma selling toys. And she showed the boys how to play it, so we purchased from her. I guess playing is the universal language. She explained in Korean, yet Baby Oppa totally understood what she was saying.

We were really happy with the accidental find for dinner! If you are heading to Seoul between March to October, we highly recommend that you try out the river cruise (we took the cruise to nowhere), the paddle boat, just stroll along the river and enjoy the beautiful park, then end off the day with a wonderful pasar malam style dinner by the river!

Next up: Day 10 – Saemaul Sikdang  새마을 식당, Seoul Forest (Great for Kids), Wangsimni Station (Cheap dinner & Indoor Playground)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 11: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 8 – 8th September 2016 
Our original plan was to visit the various palaces (all within walking distances to each other), but it rained and we figured out that the palace grounds will be MUDDY. So we just went wherever we felt like today.

Breakfast + Shopping: Namdaemun Market
Want cheap and yummy breakfast? Check out Namdaemun market!

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There are street stalls!

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Our fave drink: Shikhye! It’s a fermented rice drink. Super nice!

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To find the really secret and affordable yummy food, walk slowly and peep into every alley! They are hidden in the alleys!

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Vege Bibimbap! Yummy! And large portion. Their rice is mixed with barley.

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And strangely, we thought we ordered just a bowl of rice but it came with noodle soup and bibimmyeon (noodle version of bibimbap)! Complementary! So for 7,000 won, it was a super filling meal!

And after eating, you can just jump into shopping! How perfect!

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When you see a crowd, GO KAYPO! This shop was selling very nice leather shoes for 10,000 won a pair. That explains the crowd!

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Many different buildings. Pricing varies by stalls. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN. No need to know Korean, just use calculator or phone to press prices back and forth!

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Every stall has something different. Similarly, every building has something different!

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Another building! It seems endless!

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Our fave PJ & home clothes store is in this building. Nice panties and undies for the kids too!

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Another of our fave!

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This is more like a mini department store. Many cheap stuff outside and inside.

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And my fave are these stalls along the street. 2,000 won for anything you can dig. We’ve gotten really nice dresses for Meimei here! Not to mention, Mickey Mouse pants for the boys and also Paul Frank skinnies for the boys!

Namdaemun market is just a short walk from Myeongdong Station. Or if you are already on the train, just stop at Hoehyeon station instead.

There are other buildings catered to other products (ladies wear, bags, watches, etc etc). But as parents, we were only focused on buying stuff for our kids. We seldom shop for ourselves anymore.

Once we finished our shopping, we walked back to our apartment to drop off the shopping before we headed out to Insadong. Insadong is near Gyeongbukgong. You can try to arrange Gyeongbukgong and Insadong on the same day.

Insadong: Traditional arts & souvenir shopping

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My first stop at Insadong is always to make these lovely stone stamps. The kids each have 2, one in their English names and one in their Chinese names. So this round, I got them as gifts for 2 beautiful newborns. There are many of such shops available along Insadong, we don’t have a fixed place we frequent but we noticed some places give nice book marks like this, and some don’t. So if you want it, do ask (show them this pic) before you commit.

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The stamp takes around 15 to 20min each, so we took a break at a cafe nearby. It was raining anyway, so hiding here for the time being. Enjoying Berries Sorbet while playing games on Ahjussi’s mobile phone.

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When the rain cleared we collected the stamps and went out walking. Looked for lunch and there are many nice restaurants hidden in the alleys. Some are high end really pricey ones while some are more affordable. Menus are usually displayed outside, so take your pick and browse.

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Ssamziegil is a building with many small stores dedicated to unique craft and merchandises.

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The “Poop Bread” always attracts my attention. But the filling is red bean which I wasn’t very keen in that day. They should have choc filling, I think that will sell well with the tourists!

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Nice big artistic space inside. Loads of photo opportunities! There’s a ‘love cafe’ at the rooftop. Ahjussi and I have written sweet nonsense there before and it is so fun to head back and find it every time we visit.

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Very cute displays. The boys got the hang of posing for photos this trip!

Baby Oppa enjoying the hopstotch in the building.

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Maracon ice cream along the way.

And after the nice stroll at Insadong, we headed over to Seoul Station for another round of hardcore shopping!

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Seoul Station: Lotte OUTLETS (loads of stuff to see & buy) & Lotte Mart (our fave). For those following Kdram “Shopping King Louis”, these are the very same steps Bok Sil found Louis (homeless beggar at that time)!

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Left building: Lotte Outlets. Extreme Right: Lotte Mall.

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My fave Choc Bana snack! Chocolate + Crunchy Bites of Dried Banana! HEAVEN!!!!!! I snagged 20 packets of this! *PROUD MOMENT*

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While shopping, if you want to visit the electronics mart, you will need to park your trolley as no trolleys are allowed into the electronics mart. They have large lockers for the trolleys! So cool!

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And with kids in tow, of course, we needed the diaper change room, right? Meimei gave us a mega leaky poonami while we were here. Check this out! They provide wet wipes and guess which brand it is? Of course the top brand in Korea: Organic Story!

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And after shopping and too lazy to carry your stuff back? You can arrange air shipping back to Singapore right here (just beside the cashiers). WARNING: The shipping prices here are a lot more expensive compared to shipping at the post office. Example: One of our 4kg boxes only cost around 25,000 won to be shipped at the post office.

If you like branded stuff, Lotte Outlets will be a good place to shop. If you prefer quality yet affordable, Lotte Mall is the right place for you! Toys, clothes, household items, etc. It is a huge hypermart with everything! We ended up with a lot of toys and clothes for the kids. And food!

We were too tired to head anywhere else for dinner, so we settled dinner at their food court then went back early to pack our now ridiculous amount of shopping (e-mart + Namdaemun + Lotte Mart = CRAZY AMOUNT OF STUFF). Plus we were going to change apartment again soon, so it is best to be as organized as we can!

And FYI: You CANNOT push the trolley to the taxi stand here, unlike what we did at e-mart. So pack your shopping well and be prepared to carry them to the taxi stand (back down that flight of steps).

*** ADD ON ***

Totally forgot about our sneak out for supper! LOL!
Big Boy can be trusted to stay in the apartment on his own and he didn’t want to come along anyway (busy watching his shows on the iPad). So we went out with a sleeping Meimei and an excited Baby Oppa!

 

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Premium sliced beef! 

 

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So we ordered for 2 of us (1 pot + fried rice) and the bill was 28,000 won.

 

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From Myeongdong Station, go to Exit 4. You will see a small road between Paris Baguette & MacDonalds. Walk straight in (you will see an art school building that looks like a boat) and the restaurant is just beside it!

 

Sorry to make you hungry! Blogging about this also made me hungry~~

This is our MUST GO place every trip and we didn’t manage to plan it in this round as the food served are mostly spicy, but we were thrilled to manage to eat it still!

Next up: Day 9 – On The Grill (Lunch), Han River Cruise, Yeouido River Park, Paddle Boating, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (SUPERB!)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 10: Day 7 – Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕), Dragon Hill Spa (AGAIN), E-Mart @ Yongsan Station, Sinpo Woori Mandu (신보우리만두)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 7 – 7th September 2016 
We loved our trip to the jjimjilbang so much just a few days before and since it was originally planned for today, we decided to head out early so that we can have a full day at the jjimjilbang for R&R!

First location: Late Breakfast!

We initially wanted to take a train and walk, but the kids woke up late, so we decided to cab over from Myeongdong (our apartment). It cost us 7,000 won (the old driver got slightly lost).

This is a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists, so be prepared for table sharing and a bit of a crowd.

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The place isn’t along the main road. You will need to look out for this traditional looking house while walking in.

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Prominent signage you can’t miss!

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Traditional seating on the floor. You will need to remove your shoes, so wear presentable socks. There’s no baby chair, so we opted to sit in the corner where she can play on her own without disturbing others.

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Even their napkins are souvenir worthy!

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Menu

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In the menu, they have a ‘quick guide’ on how to enjoy your meal!

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We ordered the regular Ginseng Chicken Soup and Ginseng Black Chicken Soup. They were superb. The portion is just right for 1 person per bowl.

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Look at that thick ginseng hidden inside with glutinous rice!

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Take your order chit and head to the cashier counter for payment after your meal.

Address: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)
They are open every day from 10am to 10pm.
Check their website for map: http://tosokchon.com/sub/sub0301.php?lug=en&mcnt=301

 

Was this place worth the hype? YES!
We’ve heard that queues can run up to 1-2 hours during peak meal times, so we decided that having it at 10am was a good idea because we got seats immediately and even got a good spot for the kids to enjoy resting while we feasted.

And after breakfast, we took a cab over to Dragon Hill Spa @ Yongsan. Basically, we explored the place in greater detail which I’ve shared in an earlier post, so I’ll skip them. You can read about it again here if you missed it: Korea Travel Series Part 7: Day 4 – Abalone Porridge, Dragon Hill Spa Jjimjilbang [Nudity Alert!], Hanilkwan (Traditional Korean Food)

But I’ll share about the massage I managed to get! Learning from our first visit, this round, I managed to persuade Ahjussi to take all 3 kids with him. Then I went off on my own to enjoy my shower, scrubbed myself super squeaky clean (I thought – wait till I share about my real scrubbing session later on!), and went for a nice oil massage & nap!

So we agreed that I will have 2 hours to myself while he handled 3 kids on his own, then I will join them in the common area and Ahjussi can go off for his massage and nap.

So again, strip totally naked (I got used to it already). I was worried that you will need an appointment for a massage so I asked the Ahjumma at the massage centre first. She didn’t have any appointments that afternoon (perks of heading over on a weekday), so she told me to shower then come back.

This time, I was ‘armed’. I bought shampoo packet, conditioner packet, a scrub and a shower gel packet. I found a nice spot at the shower area, sat down and started taking a slow, warm and enjoyable shower. For mummies, this is pure heaven. No one yelling for your attention, no worries about someone being up to some trouble while you are in the shower. Mummies, you really must try this and deserve to have a shower in peace!

Once I was done cleaning myself, it was time to head into the warm baths waiting for me. There are instructions on recommended durations for each bath, so just follow the instructions and it was fun alternating the warm and cold baths.

Finally, I had enough fun. My body was nicely warmed up by the bath and my muscles didn’t feel as sore as before. I dried myself and went to get my clothing (provided). The massage Ahjumma helped me place my clothes and towel aside and I lay down on the massage bed. She started off with simple stretching and kneading of the muscles. Then came the oil. Strangely, the massage was a lot nicer compared to what I had in Singapore. I think the warm soak before the massage did the trick. Very soon, I drifted off into dreamland.

My massage lasted for slightly more than an hour. Full body massage including legs, hands, scalp and face. It cost me 60,000 won. Worth it!

As my body was really relaxed, I slipped into the next room which happens to be the ladies’ nap room. Took a nap before I went to join the kiddos!

Ahjussi also managed to get a massage. I guess massage for guys at the common area is cheaper as it costs 40,000 won for 1 hour of massage. Ahjussi enjoyed his massage too. Came back to the common area and napped the afternoon away.

The jjimjilbang is really a great experience. And a wonderful place for a mid-trip recharge. For those travelling without kids, you can even consider this place as a cheap accommodation! You can lock your luggage at the lockers easily available at the train station, then simply bring a small backpack for your overnight stay!

And since we were at Yongsan, how can we miss out on our fave shopping spot right at Yongsan Station?

Dinner & Shopping: I Park Mall & E-Mart

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After a whole afternoon of ‘nua-ing’, we decided not to be fussy and simply filled up our tummies with whatever we can find. So we stepped into the first restaurant we saw.

This place is well known for their mandu (dumplings). And yes, they were good!
Big Boy had pork tonkatsu (with sweet curry) which he loves. Ahjussi and I shared spicy stir fried octopus with rice and the mandus. Baby Oppa had seafood-katsu. Total bill: 28,000 won. Not expensive!

Address:
I’Park Mall, Level 4, Store #24
서울특별시 용산구 한강로 3가 용산민자역사 아이파크쇼핑몰 동관4층 24호
And within the same building is our fave hypermart! E-Mart!
It has many many items under their own house brands (NO BRAND, JAJU, DAIZ, etc). Cheap and good quality!
This auntie here chiongs for their lelong stuff. We’ve gotten set of 3 ORGANIC COTTON undies for the boys at just 2,000 won! This is the reason we go home with the crazy amount of shopping.

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During our trip, we heard that there was a Zika outbreak in SG and insect repellents were sold out in Singapore. Being typical kiasu Singaporean, we headed to the right section straightaway. AND SWIPED THESE OFF THE SHELVES.

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Hahaha… The Ahjummas there were very helpful when I explained about Zika in Singapore and they helped us to get more stock from their storeroom. *YEAH*

 

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And of course, from our previous trips, Meimei was fallen madly in love with organic baby rice crackers. Nothing similar in Singapore, so guess what these crazy parents have to resort to? We’ve previously begged suppliers to purchase and send them to us when we ran out of stock. So when we saw the supermarket well stocked up, we couldn’t resist. Total: 20 cartons x 6 packs. Meimei can easily finish 1 pack a day if we don’t control her.

We also bought many other stuff. Do note that they have a strict policy of charging for plastic/paper bags. Bring your own bags. Or use their recycled carton boxes to pack your shopping back. We always use their cartons and try to find sturdy ones we can use to check in our shopping if needed. Masking tapes & ribbons are all provided at their packing stations.

Scarily, we managed to lug all our shopping back to the apartment. Of course, we took a taxi back! Squeezed cartons into the boot and with us in front.

Next up: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

 

Korea Travel Series Part 8: Day 5 – Fabric Shopping @ Dongdaemun, Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari, Ihwa Mural Village, Hakrim Cafe (You Who Came from the Stars), Original Chicago Pizza & Pub

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 5 – 5th September 2016 
Fabric shopping day! My fave!
(NO STROLLER DAY)

We’ve been to Dongdaemun many times and the products there don’t catch my eyes at all. Either too pricey or they are cheap Taobao stuff sold at crazy tourist prices. It is a really large area with dedicated sections/buildings for different items.

We’ve previously been to the Toy Street (I’ll blog about that after this series) and the boys loved the toys we got from there. Pricing is not very cheap, but you can find a large variety of toys there. If you are looking for the local cartoon characters like Pororo, Dibo, and Lava, there are loads of products here. Nearest train station is Dongmyo Station.

As we knew exactly what we wanted from Dongdaemun this trip, we were very focused and only went straight for the fabrics.

By the time we all woke up, it was time for early lunch. So we just had yogurt for breakfast and headed out.

First stop: Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari

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Dongdaemun Station Exit 9. Walk straight then turn left at IBK Bank. There are a lot of small food street stalls along this street. Turn right and you will see this street ith a lot of eateries. Walk straight until you see this signage. Be careful. There are many ‘imitations’ that designed their signage to look 95% similar! We almost walked into the wrong one.

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The map is clearer. 🙂

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Make sure it is the right Ah Ma hor!


Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari

(Jin Ok-hwa Original Chicken Restaurant/ 陳玉華奶奶一只雞)
18, Jong-ro 40ga-gil , Jongno-gu

They only serve 1 dish here: Chicken soup!

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You can order add-ons to your chicken soup. We added noodles and it was superb!

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So, meet Chicken. Apparently, it is a young tender chicken. Usually, they will recommend 1 chicken for every 2 diners. For us, we were worried if we took 2 chickens, we can’t finish because the boys don’t eat much. So we took 1 only and highly regretted our choice. LOL!

Kimchi & water is self-service. The staff here can speak Chinese without any problems.

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Tender chicken, very yummy soup. All gone. This is a dish I want to try to recreate at home. The boys simply loved it too much.

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On our way in, when I almost walked into the wrong restaurant, this nice Ahjumma yelled out to us and pointed the right one to us! Super nice Ahjumma! Her stall is just outside the restaurant above so if you are in the mood for grilled fish, find her!

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On our way out, Big Boy spotted these and wanted to try them. Ooooh! They were good! There was small doughnut balls which Baby Oppa enjoyed a lot too.

 

Next: Fabric Shopping!
The whole entire building with 4 blocks is dedicated to fabrics, notions and crafts! My type of heaven!

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How to get there? This was the building immediately on the left once you take exit #9 of Dongdaemun Station. The same building as the IBK Bank shown above on the way to the chicken place.

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How to shop here? There are 2 types of stalls. Most of them have fabric swatches only. You will need to place your order and come back another day. Most of them require minimum 2 yards per design. Pricing is very reasonable and quality is great. Variety is mindboggling! Some stalls do have ready stock available like this one pictured here. Again, minimum 2 yards per design, but the prices are so cheap you’ll probably end up like me. We bought more than 20kg of fabrics. LOL! Ahjussi helped to drag them back (we took a taxi, 5,000 won). Then for the rest which I ordered, he came back the next day to collect them for me. Do take note that the place is only open Mon to Fri around 10am to 5pm. No luck on weekends at all, I tried it on the previous trip and almost didn’t manage to collect my fabrics. Show them on your phone calendar the date and time you intend to pick up. If they say OK, then good. If no, they will strongly protest and shake their hands (and wave their hands). Body language works here, don’t worry!

 

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This trip’s fabrics… Super cuddly double-sided minky! Double & triple gauze & cottons!

 

 

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So we took a taxi back to Myeongdong to dump the fabrics before we continue heading out. This is the cafe at Myeongdong Station Exit #1. I stayed here with the boys and Meimei while Ahjussi did the drop-off. Was thirsty so I went in to get a drink and surprisingly, their Kiwi Ade (5,000 won) was super delicious! Sweet yet tangy mashed kiwi mixed with soda. OMG! Super nice and I recreated it once I got back to Singapore. Loving it still!

 

Afternoon stroll: Ihwa Mural Village (이화 벽화마을)
Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 이화동

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The first time I came here in Oct 2014, we took a cab over so I wasn’t very sure how to get here by public transport. This round, we used Google Map to navigate our way as I saw that it was near Hyehwa Station (just 4 stops away from Myeongdong). I will still suggest for you to take a cab over as it is really quite a crazy walk from the station.

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The walk towards Ihwa Mural Village was quite fun. We found weird stuff like this. LOL!

Finally, we got to the start of the village and this is what we had to do first.

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Climb like SIAO! No strollers here, please! That Meimei had it the easy way out while I carried her all the way!

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Spread your wings & fly away!

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I had to squat to get the angle right because he is too short for the wings! LOL!

Many many nice photos we took!

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And we got the cutest photo here! Taken with their fave cartoon, Lava!

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Beautiful view after all that crazy climbing!

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Sun was setting!

 

 

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And this Baby Oppa played with the selfie stick with my phone on it. Look at his cheeky face!

 

After all that walking for hours, we desperately needed to rest our legs!

Pit Stop: Hakrim Cafe (Filming location of My Love from the Stars/You who Came from the Stars)
학림다방
119 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

This isn’t our first time at this cafe but we still love it.

 

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Hyehwa Station Exit 3, u-turn and go up these small stairs. The cafe is on the 2nd level.

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Super got feel!

We were lucky the exact same spot that Do Manager sat in was not taken and here we are! Scenes from the drama just flood my mind every time we come here. Where’s my Do Manager? *dreams*

 

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The cheesecake here with jam is highly recommended!

 

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Dinner destination

 

 

While walking around the neighbourhood after our cafe rest time, we found a street with loads of food options. The word PIZZA caught Big Boy’s eyes and we couldn’t escape.

 

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Sorry, we don’t have an exact address for this because SOMEONE threw the receipt away. Oh wow. What’s new? Anyway, this was another awesome pizza that got Big Boy’s attention totally. Layers and layers of cheese! Look at how happy he is trying to bite the strings of cheese off the pizza! There are real deep fried chicken fillets on top of the pizza. I also ordered pasta for Baby Oppa, weird combo of tomato & cream seafood pasta, but I was sold when I tried it. I ended up only having a slice of the pizza and I finished the pasta with Baby Oppa. Their grapefruit-ade was nice too! A Large chunk of grapefruit floating in there! Price wise I recall it was a little on the higher end side. But worth it to see Big Boy enjoying his meal!

We walked around for some shopping and found some soft toys for the kids. Meimei loves Iron Man and we got her a mini one which she hugs to sleep every night now. She calls it ‘friend friend’.

We took the train back to Myeongdong, showered and crashed. All that walking was really crazy!

 

Next up: Day 5 – Hongdae, Thanks Nature Cafe (Sheep Cafe), Raccoon Cafe, Eel Restaurant (풍천장어구이), Paris Baguette, Myeongdong Street Food & Shopping

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

[REVIEW] The Rose, the Tula, the Lamb and the Tamishoo

I love babywearing! Hubby and I embarked on the babywearing journey with the birth of our firstborn in 2012 and we’ve not looked back since. Babywearing allows us to bond and provide security and comfort for our children. With a 3 year old toddler girl and a pair of 8 month old twin boys, we use a combination of the double pram and babywearing. Like many mothers, I started out with ringslings and stretchy wraps for the newborn, and then eventually progressed to soft structured carriers (sscs). I have experimented with ringslings, wrapping and mei tais, but have concluded that I am a buckles kind of girl. I love the convenience and ease of sscs, and how short the learning curve can be. Let me share my thoughts on four different brands of sscs that I have tried before.

Rose and Rebellion (R&R)

Rose & RebellionMy first ssc was a Rose and Rebellion ssc in the Animal Crackers print. All R&R sscs are made of canvas and are fully reversible to an all black reverse side, so you effectively get two sscs for the price of one. This also means you can choose your favourite girly design, and daddy can still babywear simply by using the reverse side! R&R’s tagline ‘Pretty or Punk, Rose or Rebel’ sums up their designs – funky and pretty at the same time. It is also extremely lightweight and easy to handle. According to the R&R website, the ssc weigh only 450grams! No infant inserts are needed and the baby size sscs are suitable from 3.5kg – 20kg. The panel is tall and provided adequate support for my sleeping babies without having to use the integrated sleep hood. However I found the panel narrow compared to the other sscs I will be reviewing in this post. It was also difficult to get a good deep seat, and most importantly, the thigh area was not padded, which meant my babies were always left with deep red markings on their thighs after each use. Major dislike! All in all, a decently good ssc at a very reasonable price: retailing from $170 onwards at its authorized local dealer.

Tula

Tula‘Tula in the wild!’ One of the most popular and raved about brands. When my husband first bought his Tula in 2012, we had no idea it was going to become such a phenomena brand. To us, it was just the most comfortable and easy to use ssc after trying on many others at the one and only authorized (back then) retailer in Singapore for Tula. The Tula is generously sized so it is typically recommended for babies above 6 month old, without the use of an infant insert. However my smaller twin could only fit in it at close to 7.5 months. Interestingly, my lanky toddler still fits the standard size comfortably: the panel is halfway up her back, her legs are just everywhere, and I would probably feel a lot more comfortable with her in a toddler size, but for quick ups, it works. Money saved for mummy!

Personally, my favourite bit of the Tula is the padded thigh area. We simply love love love this feature. So cushy and comfortable for baby! The stiffer waistband was great for us too as it provided much needed support as the children got heavier. Another feature that I love about the Tula is its detachable hood. I could take it off to show off my panel design, and I knew of friends who had their hoods custom made to include dinosaur spikes, etc. Somehow it was also extremely easy getting a good deep seat with the (broken in) Tula so we could usually just pop baby in with minimal adjustments needed. The market is simply flooded with an abundance of beautiful cutesy Tula prints, and generally, not only does the Tula holds its resale value, a used Tula can at times fetch a higher than retail price. Having used the same Tula since 2012, I must say it is really sturdy and well worth the money spent! Do I have any complains about the Tula? Only that the Tula canvas requires quite a bit of breaking in before it gets really soft and comfortable. A brand new Tula retails from about $229.90 from the five authorized retailers in Singapore.

Lenny Lamb

Lenny LambLenny on the loose!’ I recently decided to try a Lenny Lamb after reading many rave reviews about it. Not disappointed at all! All LL sscs are wrap converted, and this means they are buttery soft even when brand new out of the box! Can’t imagine how much more softer and cushier they would be when fully broken in! Being full wrap converts, they are also much more cooling compared to Tula’s canvas. LL can generally be used for smaller babies from 4 months onwards by flipping up the waistband, no infant insert needed. I personally feel that whereas Tula’s prints are more loud and cutesy, LL’s prints tend to be more artistic and adultish in nature. LL is definitely upping the ante and rapidly gaining market share with a lot of new exclusives and prints every few weeks. The thigh area is softly padded and it is easy to get a deep seat with baby. Everytime I wear my LL, I feel that I am wrapping my baby snugly against me. And it comes with lots of sleepy dust too! The twins fall asleep in it easily after about five minutes or so once I raise up the hood against their necks.

My biggest gripe with LL is that the waist buckle cannot (or at least, with great difficulty) be undone with one hand. It has a safety feature where you have to press down the catch on the buckle and its sides simultaneously before the buckle releases. Another gripe is that the hood is non detachable which means the beautiful panel design and placement is hidden unless you roll up the hood (though this could be an advantage as it means there is less risk of misplacing the hood). There are also a whole lot more buckles and places for adjustment: it makes finding of the perfect sweet spot that much more elusive, and that much harder to share with your partner. The floppy waistband makes it very comfortable to wear, but I find it does not provide sufficient support for heavier babies and toddlers. I have tried on the toddler sized LL but did not feel that it was supportive enough: my back and shoulders were killing me after half an hour of wearing my 12kg toddler.

There are currently four authorized LL retailers in Singapore and the price ranges from $190 onwards depending on the choice of material and weave. All in all, extremely value for money considering it is a wrap convert ssc. It is right up there alongside the Tula!

Tamishoo

TamishooSometime before my twins were born I bought a wrap which I simply loved. Unfortunately I subsequently decided that wrapping was not for me and decided to convert it into a ssc with local converter Tamishoo. At that time Tamishoo had just begun to offer conversions for sscs and I scored a conversion slot at their introductory price of $230 (usual price is $250). I did not have to wait too long for a conversion slot and loved that I was able to get a consultation with Tamishoo, and try on different styles before deciding how I wanted to customise my ssc. I paid close to $300 after adding on details such as (non detachable) hood, personal fit adjustors (pfas) and a cinchable belt. It was completed within a week and I was overall pretty satisfied with the quality and workmanship.

However I was not able to use the ssc on my then 5m old twins even with the cinchable belt. When I used the cinchable belt, it shortened the panel length at the thigh area, resulting in my boys’ thighs rubbing against the strap. So I had paid extra for a feature I was not able to use, and I still could not use the ssc until they were more than 6 months old. Further, I realised that if I tightened the pfas, the chest strap buckle ended up smack against my neck and there was no way I could move the chest strap any lower. Tamishoo suggested sending me a separate chest strap with velcro to use first before deciding what adjustments I want to make. That was on 18th July. TIll date I still have yet to receive it. Am very disappointed at Tamishoo’s mistake with the pfa/chest strap buckle issue, and even more so that I have yet to receive her follow up close to 3 months after. So although there is a lot of convenience and money saved by going with a local converter, and being able to get a conversion slot and consultation session easily, the overall experience just didn’t leave a good aftertaste.

So there you have it, my take on four different brands of sscs. Hope this was useful!

A review on four SSCs by: Jennifer Yuen-Chen
Mummy to a 3 year old toddler girl and a pair of 8 month old twin boys

Note by Mummies’ Voices: All SSCs (Soft Structured Carriers) belong to Mummy Jennifer and her review is based on her personal experience while using these SSCs. Mummies’ Voices highly recommends interested parents to try before making a purchase.